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Books I Wish She Had Read January 26, 2011

Posted by reddlissa in Family Affairs, Literary Journal, Rants/ Raves, Uncategorized.
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While browsing the web, I found a post about missed reading opportunities and started thinking about my rich reading background.  I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t a voracious reader.  My mom has a tremendous love of reading and literature and shared that love with my brother and me.  Some of my earliest (and happiest) memories are of Momma reading The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins   and Are You My Mother? , and the greatest Christmas present I received as a kid was the Little House on the Prairie box set which I read at least a dozen times.  Books have always been an integral part of my daily routine and I shudder to imagine a life in which I couldn’t indulge in a quick trip to ancient Rome, King Henry’s Hampton Court, or the dark alleys of crime-ridden Los Angeles.   With this in mind, I offer a quick list of the most influential or memorable books from my childhood:

1.  Little House of the Prairie (Wilder) — I cannot express how much I loved this series.  I still own that box set I got over 25 years ago;  each book is tattered and worn from being read so many times.  I even had my mom make a “Laura Ingalls dress” that I wore until I couldn’t squeeze into it any longer. 

2. Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery) — Contrary to what my students believe, I was not a troublemaker as a child.   I relied on this book to vicariously experience tight scraps, wild adventures, and fierce independence.

3.  Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret? (Blume) — This book was so taboo in my 5th grade world!  What I remember most about this book is having to put my name on a waiting list at the school library just to check it out…..and the exercise to grow your boobs.  Surprisingly those of us lucky enough to have a chance to read the book never spilled any of its secrets to those poor souls still waiting their turn.

4.  Little Women (Alcott) — I had an illustrated version of this classic that was passed down from my mom and aunts.  I loved Jo and was devastated when she cut off her beautiful hair.  This was one of the first books that I can remember pulling various emotions from me as I read.

5.  Where the Sidewalk Ends (Silverstein) — Every student at my elementary school was required to participate in an annual elocution contest.  Without fail my brother and I always chose to recite a poem from this collection.  This is one of the few books that he and I both loved; we wrote and drew on the pages of our favorite poems 🙂

I’m happy to be able to say that I have passed this love of reading on to my daughter; she would willing spend my entire paycheck at Barnes and Noble.  Sadly I realize that my daughter, for all her reading, has not experienced any of these amazing works 😦

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